UNTUK VERSI BAHASA MELAYU, KLIK SINI.
As usual, it’s hard for this blog to stay up to date. I always have the thought that I can be a full time blogger once I quit my job. I was wrong. And with that, I declare myself, forever, I am just a blogger wanna be.
While other blogs update their new year post on 1.1.2016 full with plans and resolutions, I took a different approach by reminiscing the past, a whole year of 2015. 2015 is rather special to me anyway.
Mike and I stepped into 2015 with the lowest key. No new year countdown party or fireworks sightseeing. I went to sleep at 10 pm and Mike sat in the living room watching his movies collection. Actually, I was sad knowing the fact that I am finally leaving my whole life here in Malaysia to be with Mike. It’s the biggest sacrificial that I made in my lifetime, so far. That’s why I said 2015 is rather special. In order to distract myself from drown into mental ill sadness, I re-painted and made some new little arrangement for my apartment. I always believed that every thing contains soul, including the house. I can feel that my is sad too. So, by rearranging furniture, upgrading floors and repainting the walls, I conveyed some sort of promise to my apartment that I will always be back to be with her. It’s just like a long vacation and I will be back into her when I’m tired of a long vacation. January is also Mike’s month of birth. No fancy trip abroad this time. In my fully messed apartment with paints, news papers on the floor and our ready packed luggage in the living room, I still spared some time to get few cupcakes for my beloved husband to feast on his birthday. Well, I buy him lunch on the next day though. His favorite food – pizza.
We also visited Mexico this month. I never imagined to be able to come here in my entire life. Not before Paris, at least. I always knew Mexico as a dangerous place to visit with mafia and drug lords. Once again, world proves me wrong. Mexico just like Paris (er, I never been to Paris though). A city full of romance. We also celebrated our 1st year anniversary here. Both of us really love this city.
Start living my life in foreign land, officially. I missed the warmth and softness of the rice on day one I am here in Alaska. I found instant Asian food in a packet but the instruction asked me to put peanut butter in it. Rice and peanut butter? I unable to finish it. I couldn’t swallow it. I must admit that the main problem for me here is the food. I made a mistake by having the thought that Alaska is like California where Asian and Pakistani grocer and restaurants are everywhere. I didn’t bring much spices and condiment from Malaysia too. Truthfully, my taste bud was tormented.
February is Valentine month. Mike bought me a bouquet of roses. 24 February is our wedding reception anniversary. According to western culture, you get to eat your wedding cake (the top) which have been kept away in a freezer from the date of the reception/ wedding day.
Alaska is very beautiful indeed. Especially during winter, fully covered with soft snow. My friends said I am very lucky to get the opportunity to shift my living condition. I tried to live up to my friends’ expectation through pictures displayed on my Instagram, but…
Ah, who am I to complaint the plan than God has for me. I strongly believe that a wife should be where her husband is. During sick and health, comfortable or poor.
Not much activity here. I am here try to live as a local, not a tourist. When Mike get his off day from work, he show me around and taught me Alaskan life. He introduced me to Iditarod race too. I managed to be at the event for the first time. Usually I only get to see Alaskan Malamute and Huskey through magazine and TV. But now, it’s Malamute and Huskey overload, different colors and sizes in front of my very own eyes.
Snow started to disappear from Alaska. What’s left is cold breeze and slushy ground. Mike brought me to Matanuska Glacier / Scenic Drive and many, many lakes.
May is where the best weather started to kick in, here in Alaska with brightest sun and clearest blue skies. Daylight is getting longer and trees sprung it leaves like its Amazon jungle. Alaskan started to enjoy outdoor more – eat and drink outside their house. Potted flower planting, camping, fishing all started at once. Mike brought me to hike Lazy Mountain which it took 4 hours for other people to complete it. But it took a whole day long for me, with tears. However, I still proud of myself, it’s a self lifetime record achievement for me though.
First time experienced Ramadhan in foreign land without Ayam Percik and Malay’s sweet delicacies for iftar. Mike get me to experience motorhome camping and we stayed overnight in a jungle next to the beautiful lake. I must admit that he really got me to start loving outdoor activity this time around. What a life changing experience for a girl who used to spend all her weekends in shopping mall for the past 20 years.
How I missed Malaysia and its tropic weather. My friends feels my sorrow so they sent me a care package full of Malays’ spices and precook mix. Thank you. Although I envied looking at the foods and recipes the Malays posted on Facebook, I still feel grateful that I get to fast in cool weather and stay at home, with no worries about work in the office. The most awkward moment I experinced this year was celebrating Aidilfitri without the sound of takbir raya. Mike went to work as usual and my aidilfitri morning wasn’t rendang and ketupat but coffee and Hawaiian bread.
I can’t help but staring at pictures uploaded by Malaysian, family portrait – color themed dresses. All I did was waited for Mike to come home and dine together. Well, my aidilfitri dinner was rather special, I get to eat King Crab leg for the first time!
Mike got me a plane ticket back to Malaysia before aidilfitri ends. He took 4 days leave and brought me to Seward and glacier hiking. It was a great experience to get to touch glacier on 5th day of Aidilfitri. Our motorhome camping in Seward made me feel like over the moon. Suddenly I felt sad thinking about being apart from Mike even for a month. Now I understand how he felt like every time he left Malaysia when we were dating and on our 1st year marriage (I refused to leave Malaysia immediately after we got married and chose to live separately, Alaska – Kuala Lumpur)
Back in Malaysia!! Happy as a clam. I ate Briyani at my favorite Briyani restaurant – JM Briyani as soon as I landed. Although I’ve been in Alaska with 20 hours daylight, it still not the same as the warmth of Malaysia’s sun. I went to have 4 days vacation in Kuala Terengganu and redang with my beloved pet sisters. I swore to discard the need to look at weight scale this month and devour my favorite Malay food. I ate so much petai jeruk when I was at my mom’s too.
It was a bitter sweet month. Just like the name of my blog (well, this blog is meant to record all the bitter sweet memories in my life anyway). I found out that I was 4 weeks pregnant but it’s ectopic pregnancy. It was a morbid experience to go under knife for the first time and also a self awakening. I was in bed rest for a month and incision recovery is far worse than having a vaginal delivery.
My initial plan to stay in Malaysia for a month now stretched into three. Mike flew down to mad hazed Malaysian skies season to accompany me back to Alaska. It was fun though, I able to brought Mike to Kuala Terengganu and ate Sotong Celup Pok Nong. We fulfill all friends’ wedding and engagement ceremonies invitation as well
October is a happy month. I also get to meet all my siblings from different mothers. They get to see Mike too. Now Mike knew that I have a very big family and have lots of sisters and brothers.
For the first time, I managed to host a small feast party at my little apartment. I always dreamed of cooking for my close friends and I promise to do this at least once a year.
We visited South Korea too. We visited Seoul, Jeju Island and made it to Busan Firework festival too. Once we back in LA, we made a trip to San Francisco and cruise along Pacific Coast Highway. California.
I’m back in Alaska. Done nothing but hibernate like a polar bear. It’s snowing and cold remember? I celebrated my birthday like no birthday at all. We spent all our money for the trip to South Korea and San Francisco. It was an advance birthday trip I can say. But I don’t mind at all. Gift or no gift, celebration or no celebration, I know that Mike will get me a nice gift and bring me to a nice trip when he have extra money, any day of the year. My mother in law surprised me with cookie cake. I also get to experience Thanksgiving, the American way too. Ah, mother nature got the Aurora Borealis to visit me as my birthday gift though. It was my first time to see northern lights in my parents in law back yard.
Alaska had the least snow this year. The snow was on and off. Even Colorado get more snow than Alaska. I mean, no snow at front porch. But if you go to mountain area, you still can find the snow and in fact, the snow is so thick until there were a few avalanche occurred this month. Mike return to work so left me at home trying to cook all the lazy cook recipes. I swear not to complaint about the food anymore while there are plenty stuff in the kitchen for me to cook while some people in some part of the world sleep hungry and has no food to eat. I have to learn to be more adaptive. Anyway, I cooked chicken curry the other day and it gave me heartburn and nausea. I learned that I can no longer consume curry or any hot spices. Great.
I also get to see American’s Christmas celebration. Don’t worry, Christmas celebration in Malaysia is way far flamboyant than Americans even though they have the real white Christmas. Decorated Christmas tree can be seen in every house. My mother in law and Mike’s brother in law bake a traditional Christmas cookies. I took a part by baking the easiest and laziest traditional chocolate bark cookies. Lucky it turned out good and cleared in no time (Mike ate most of it)
Like a martian, I went through my mother in law’s Christmas tree’s ornaments and decorations. Some of it is more than 40 years old. Each of it has sentimental value and story behind it. For the first time, I got a lot of gifts on 25 December. Usually in Malaysia, 25 December is the day I can wake up very late and do nothing. I got 2 gifts from my mother in law, 1 from father in law, 1 from Mike’s brother in law and 3 from Mike. Total 7 gifts. I feel loved.
So, that’s about my year 2015. It wasn’t fancy like all of you. I don’t get career promotion or salary increment. Not to mention bonus. But my 2015 is so different than previous years that I lived through. 2015 is definitely the most calm year for me. I can’t believe that my rambling of retiring at age 40 has came true. My retirement maybe not as stylish as most people, retire with hefty funds in the bank. But it is more like retire from office’s phone calls and emails 9 to 5/ 5 days a week. Mike never ceased to support my ideas and hobby although it didn’t generate a lot of money.
If my 2016 turn out not so festive as others, I still feel grateful for able to breathe and see the end of 2016 just like I did in 2015.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.